Former Phillies Catcher Carlos Ruiz Pitched for Seattle Last Night!

With the Mariners down big, Chooch took the mound in relief and gave up a home run before retiring the side.

Photo by AP/Lynne Sladky

Is there anything former Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz can’t do on a baseball diamond?

The 38-year-old Panamanian began his career as a second baseman before he was converted to catcher at the Phillies Baseball Academy in the Dominican Republic. After making that switch in 1998, Ruiz went on to backstop a Major League record four no-hitters over the course of 11 seasons in Philadelphia.

That position change way back when helped launch Chooch’s career in the Majors. Could his latest prolong it?

With the Seattle Mariners down 19-6 in the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins, manager Scott Servais told Ruiz to grab his fielder’s glove and hit the mound. Carlos has appeared in more than 1,000 games in the big leagues, but last night was his first as pitcher.

When position players get to pitch, it tends to mean that the losing team is waving the white flag. The results generally range from mixed to downright disastrous (Jose Canseco blew out his arm pitching in 1993), but Chooch wasn’t so terrible!

Look at that stare. That’s a pitcher’s icy glare if I’ve ever seen one.

Ruiz ended up giving up a home run to the first batter he faced on a 78-mph heater. He then walked two and surrendered two hits before striking out the side with the bases loaded. Chooch threw a total of 30 pitches in relief – 14 for strikes. He topped out around 84 mph.

Not so bad for a catcher, huh? Hell, I’d take that stat line from a Phillies reliever any day (on this team at least). With how atrocious the Phils’ bullpen has been this season, maybe last night will inspire GM Matt Klentak to get on the horn with Seattle and bring Chooch back home.

You can watch more highlights of Carlos’ outing here.

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